Using CNAMEs with clustered file share resources

Published On: 2011-11-28By:

One of the questions that I see on the forums every once in a while is how to get a CNAME working with a network share.  For example if you have a cluster where the server names are “SERVER1 and SERVER2” and the virtual name is “VIRT1” how can I allow users to connect to the network shares by using the server name “FILESERVER” so that they don’t need to change their mapped drives, etc. after the server FILESERVER has been migrated to the cluster.

The old way of doing this would have been to simple add a CNAME to the internal DNS server so that the name FILESERVER simply pointed to the name VIRT1.  However in Windows 2008 and higher this doesn’t work any more without doing some registry hacking.  While the registry hacking will work, this is a pain to maintain as every time you migrate another server to the cluster you need to go and edit the registry key on all the nodes of the cluster, then reboot all the nodes of the cluster.  Not exactly the easiest solution to implement.

Fortunately there is a much easier technique which can be used.  Simply add another network name to the cluster pointing to the network IP address of the virtual world.  This will add another DNS entry so that your users can resolve the network name correctly and register the network name with the cluster so that it knows to accept this network name as a valid name for the cluster without needing to restart the nodes of the cluster or to edit the registry on all the nodes of the cluster.

To do this open the failover cluster manger and right click on the service or application and select “Add a Resource” from the context menu.  Then select “1 – Client Access Point”.  The wizard that opens will allow you to add a network name to the cluster resource group.

Denny


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